Priyanka effect: Massive crowd at roadshow has the BJP scurrying around to protect party’s vote bank

Immediately after Priyanka Gandhi held her maiden roadshow in Lucknow, the core group of the BJP huddled together to discuss the ‘Priyanka effect’ and the consequences of it on the party’s vote bank

Photo Courtesy: PTI
Photo Courtesy: PTI

Biswajeet Banerjee

Immediately after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra held her maiden but impressive road show in Lucknow, the core group of the Bharatiya Janata Party huddled together to discuss the ‘Priyanka effect’ and how to protect the party’s vote bank in view of the huge crowds that swarmed the 15km route raising slogans ‘chowkidar chor hai.’

The core group comprised of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP state president Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, two Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dr Dinesh Sharma, UP election in-charge and Union Health Minister JP Nadda and general secretary organization Sunil Bansal.

The meeting continued for almost three hours and ended at around 10 at night. When the leaders came out of the meeting room they looked serious and refused to take questions. BJP spokesperson said it was a routine meeting but failed to answer those asking that if this was pre-planned meeting then why did the Chief Minister skip review the meeting with DMs and hurriedly came only to attend this core group meeting.

Whatever the BJP leaders say, one thing is very clear that through this road show Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has proved that she will give sleepless nights to the ruling dispensation in Uttar Pradesh. The talk of ‘badlav’ and new future she has harped on through an audio clip will have its impact in next Lok Sabha election results.

This is why BJP should be wary of Priyanka Gandhi.

  • This goes without saying that the reception Priyanka Gandhi Vadra got in Lucknow was tumultuous. Not only Congress leaders but also the common man on the streets came out to welcome Priyanka Gandhi. It took almost 5 hours to cover 15km route from the airport to the Congress office. This shows that the impromptu reception the new Congress national general secretary got was immense.
  • The presence of youth in the crowd must have gladdened the hearts of the Congress strategists. It was a welcome sign for Congress. The bulwark of the BJP vote bank had always been the youth. The participation of the youth in the road show is surely a point of worry for the BJP.
  • People raised the slogan of ‘Chowkidar chor hai’. Lucknow is considered BJP’s citadel. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was an MP from this constituency five times. After him Lalji Tandon (now Governor of Bihar) and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh have been elected from Lucknow as MPs. With this background that people joining Congress workers to raise slogan ‘chowkidar chor hai’ proves that Lucknowites too believe that the BJP government under Narendra Modi is corrupt.
  • BJP should be worried because now Priyanka will get more space in newspapers and television channels which will increase visibility of the party in the media. More visibility means people will talk about her and this will harm the BJP.
  • With Rahul declaring that Congress will now play on the front foot and on the same time claiming that he has high respect for Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav has made BJP jittery. What will happen if Congress and SP-BSP alliance forge a mahagathbandhan. The BJP knows that in that case it will requiem for the party in Uttar Pradesh.

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